Heart disease is one of the major causes of death among North Americans. It evokes images of resuscitation, of desperate races against time, trying to restart an arrested heart before the brain dies. It makes people think of horribly expensive surgery, last wills and testaments, terrible, paralyzing pain. Heart disease is a great profit center for the medical profession.

Most heart problems are very easy to fix by holistic approaches, even many hereditary weaknesses and malfunctions can be healed, if the work is done before too much organic damage occurs. But it rarely is easy to get the people to take the necessary medicine; everything in their lives must change--and fast.

First of all, people with heart problems must rapidly reach and maintain normal weight. This can be done by fasting or by dietary change, usually by eliminating all fats, sugars and refined starches. Alcohol and tobacco must instantly and forever become only past memories. It is almost as essential to eliminate flesh protein foods and dairy. Should that prove entirely too painful, fish in small quantities and only one or two times a week is tolerable.

For starters, a long fast, especially one involving lots of bed rest, is ideal. This gives the heart a chance to heal while the body weight is adjusted. A period of intense rest even without water fasting will accomplish almost as much. Even someone with the potential for heart disease who has not yet had a heart attack would be well-served to spend a month in bed, losing weight on juice, or sitting in a rocker on the porch eating only raw foods. After the weight is down to normal or close to normal and the heart tests stronger, an exercise program should be started.

Exercise has to become a religion. A daily aerobic program must be started on a carefully managed gradient, using the pulse rate as an regulator, at first raising their maximum heart rate to a point just below 150 percent of its resting pulse and keeping it there for thirty minutes. One can walk, jog, ride a bicycle or use an exercise machine. Actually, everyone should do this, even those with no heart problems. My husband, who hates the boredom of exercise, enjoys a ski machine in front of the TV while the stock market program is on. He finds the TV interesting enough that he pays no attention to his workout. Daily aerobic exercise will strengthen the heart, gradually slowing the heart's resting pulse rate, indicating that the heart has become much stronger, pumping more blood with each pulse. As the resting pulse drops the exercising heartbeat can be increased to double the resting rate.

Highly aggressive, competitive, stress-oriented people have to give up being adrenaline junkies and learn to relax and assume a laid-back approach to living. Or die soon. An adrenaline junkie is someone that enjoys the feeling they get when operating under stress. Stress and the adrenaline it releases produce a kind of a drug-high. Many stressaholics cannot give up their adrenaline addiction while maintaining their previous employment and life-style, even though their life is at stake. In this sense they are like alcoholics, who should not take employment tending bar. To survive for long these people may have to retire or change professions. Stockbrokers may have to become Organic farmers; journalists may have to operate a news stand or bookstore, or work part-time covering the society page and dog shows. Women frequently turn their family life into a stress-filled drama too.

With heart problems a life extension megavitamin program is essential, even for twenty somethings if they have heart disease. The sixty milligrams of Co-Enzyme Q-10 I recommend for the average middle aged person will not be enough for heart cases; they should take at least 120 milligrams daily and consider up to 250 mg. This much Q-10 greatly boosts the energy output of the heart on a cellular level. Vitamin E should also be increased, to between 600 and 2,000 iu daily. I also rebuild diseased hearts with protomorphogens; usually they must stay on protomorphogens for the rest of their lives. Niacin taken several times a day in doses, sufficient to dilate the capillaries and cause a skin flush (50 to 200 milligrams), increases the blood flow to nourish the heart. The amino acid L. Carnitine is also useful by increasing the energy output of the heart much like Co-Enzyme Q-10.

When I put people on this program, the supplements and other measures gradually take effect, and over months the patient begins to feel enormously better. Inevitably they come to dislike the side-effects of the various medications their medical doctor has put them on and they begin to wean themselves off of heart-stimulating poisons like digitalis. Another benefit of my program is that inevitably, blood pressure also drops to a normal range so if they have been on blood pressure medication they quit that too. Their diuretics also become unnecessary. The money they save more than pays for their supplements and the sense of well-being they feel is beyond value.